Out of the refiner's fire can come a glorious deliverance...it is part of the purging toll exacted by some to become acquainted with God. By James E. Faust

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Coordination, coughing, peeing, physical therapy, sexual arousal and not giving up!

So...I was pretty sick last Spring and I ended up wearing a pad for a couple of weeks because every time I coughed I would leak...sigh...growing old is not for wimps.

I finally went to the urologist and they said I could try physical therapy or consider surgery to support my bladder in a way that would help me not 'pee' everytime I cough or laugh. I heard through a friend that it might be worth my while to try physical therapy...so I figured I would give it a shot.

Well...the first time it was kinda weird..but then what did I expect? The therapist is a nice 30 something woman that has a wonderful bedside manner. We talked about strengthening the muscles in my 'pelvic floor' and she even had a model to show me. Then she gave me some exercises to help me find the muscles and strengthen them. It was kinda weird at first because I just feel so disconnected from my female organs...It seems I just can't feel everything that I should. I warned her that I was sexually abuse when I was young and I might cry and to not worry about it - I just need to process and deal with it. She just smiled and was encouraging.

So...as I worked on it for the first week - I could tell a difference. It does make it easier to keep trying since I feel like it is making a difference. The therapist said that I could benefit in a lot of ways from continuing the exercises so I will continue. She said it would help to stabilize my hips and abdomen and more

The second visit was a little more interesting...she had a ball that she wanted me to push against. She said it would help me to isolate the muscles that are used to control your bladder and pelvic floor. The crazy thing is it is basically one of the positions that I have used during intercourse to help me feel and enjoy intercourse. How is that for weird?  I remember my husband asking me why I was doing it and I told him that it just felt like I was supposed to be doing something and it felt like it was helping.  Apparently it was...lol.

I asked the therapist if she had a lot of patients that had been abused. She said over half that she was aware of, they often didn't say anything right away but it would come out after a couple of sessions. Other clients just had lots of kids..yeah...motherhood - the side they never tell you about until it is too late.

My husband was surprised that I am able to talk so intimately about sex with my therapist. I told him that I have to get in a 'medical' frame of mind when I go in and just make it all very clinical. I told him I do it because I want to get better.

When I do the exercises it is crazy how simple it seems at the office, yet when I get home I have to seriously focus to do it correctly. I wonder sometimes how much is physical and how much is mental. The therapist keeps telling me that it is a simple matter of coordination and with repetition it will feel natural and normal. I hope so - although I am beginning to think that no one is normal..lol.

So...why am I writing about this?  Because I hope that someone else that has had a past that has left them damage can find hope and know that you can change your life. If you would have asked me 8 years ago that if I keep trying to move forward that I would be with a man that loves me and loves to be with me intimately. That sex would be something that continues to just get better and better. That I can feel myself allowing my body to relax and enjoy sex more and more. That I would be with a man that wants to dream with me and take care of me. That I would be able to be strong enough to let go of some of the hatred and anger I had towards my X...not all..yet...but definite progress.

Don't ever underestimate the power of your mind. Recognize that sometimes horrible things happen to people. Sometimes people do ugly things to other people that will leave scars that may seem insurmountable...but the power of the human mind and spirit is not to be underestimated.

You are of worth. You matter. You can get your life back.
Your mind has a power that will amaze you if you find your trust in God and let Him help you to forgive. Allow yourself to rid your soul of blame and forgive those that have hurt you. That doesn't mean that you have to forget or let them continue hurting you...just don't let that hurt and anger eat you up inside. It is not worth it - to lose your life because of the mistakes of others.

I know that God lives.
I know that I am standing here a better woman than I was before I began my journey of healing. I don't wish my past on anyone...but I am who I am because I am overcoming the trials of this life.

Don't ever give up on you.
You matter more than you know.
Trust me on that.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Still better than I imagined and I am feeling more

So...we have known each other for over a year now and been married for over half a year. Things are going awesome!

We have had some struggles with our kids - but the best part is none of them have ever even started a comment about 'why did we marry?' I know they can see how happy we are with each other and how different our lives are. I like that part of it.

The down side is that we don't have the privacy of learning more about each other in a home where we are alone. Several of our children live with us and some have returned from college. Some days I feel they are watching us like hawks to see how we are dealing. I think my kids are worse because I was single longer. They don't remember as well when their dad lived with me. We were laughing with his daughter about how we never had an argument. ...yeah....we had our first argument that night.  It was weird in that I didn't cower like I did in the past. I didn't shut down and refuse to talk. We were both upset and took a break - then I went back downstairs and we talked and it was ok. I am so used to pouting and being passive aggressive but I really tried to be a little more mature. He can just let things 'roll off his back' better and was just giving me space. After a few days we had it figured out. Now we both know that we don't want to argue - and we will try to make sure and give the other person the 'benefit of the doubt' and listen a little better. Aren't arguments always about silly things and misunderstandings? We are closer now because we know our relationship is more important than a silly argument.

Intimacy has been interesting. I still am not as relaxed as I wish...but I am getting there. I am pleasantly pleased to learn that I am feeling more than when we first married. It is almost weird..as I was trying to become more in tune with my body I started having all these weird aches and pains. In the past I was known for having all kinds of bruises and such and never knowing where they came from. After I ended up at the Dr for a few different aches and pains I realized that I appeared like a hypochondriac and then my husband mentioned that I was feeling more and he was touching me lightly and I could feel it. I had to laugh to myself as I realized that I wasn't a hypochondriac but I was starting to tune into my body more and it was a little intense sometimes. Very interesting feelings. I think one of the most exciting things about that is that it reminds me that I can change and that my past will not define me. I still don't have a lot of feeling inside but everything else is becoming more sensitive, so I am not giving up.

My girls are loving the fact that he loves, respects and cares about them. It just warms my heart when I see them talk to him and laugh and he says that he loves them and they say, "I know" It's a good thing. They see he isn't perfect and has things about him that bug them but they see how much he loves me and how happy I am. My son that has always felt 'outside' with his dad adores him.

My daughter was dating a guy that had some stuff to deal with and he was hesitant to go to counseling. She told him, "My mom was really screwed up and she went to a LOT of counseling and now she is able to love deeper than I ever thought possible. Go get some counseling!" I am still trying to decide if that was a compliment...lol!

I had a friend that has just gone through a terrible mess with her marriage and she started her problems when I was getting married. She didn't want to spoil my happiness so she just kind of distanced herself. Her divorce is final now and she told me....I needed to see you so happy!  Then she said, I had no idea how lonely divorce was....I am so sorry. I smiled at her and said, "Don't you remember how often I would tell you how much I appreciated your friendship and time and how you would come up to me and hug me??  Now you know how much it meant." We never know what we are able to give to others.  I pray that this blog helps other women to know that there is always hope in love and Our Father in Heaven always has a plan for us. Don't ever give up!

As I sit her on the couch...thinking about my life...realizing how far I have come...I know it was painful...but it is like I almost don't want to go back and read about my past. I have been able to put it in a box...I understand it better...I can see the strength I received from my Heavenly Father and I know that my Savior never left my side. He lives and I know it with every fiber of my being!  Don't ever give up on His love!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I survived my honeymoon :)

First off...Temple cancellation of sealings are online now just like when missionaries are doing their papers. Our response (after we had the responses from our ex spouses) took only 2 weeks. So don't hesitate to try and get married in the Temple a second time if it is what you really want to do. The Lord is aware.

I can't believe how our ring ceremony went. His family is almost all non members so we had a ring ceremony. I can't believe how relaxed I was. How happy I was just to be with him and share how happy I was feeling.

I knew it would be weird for our kids...especially mine. (I was single much longer than he was) We made a point of having 'cool outfits' for our kids so they felt awesome and beautiful. I think it worked. They were all strutting around feeling special.

I know that we have problems ahead. But I just can't get over how much I love just being with him. Talking to him. Dreaming with him. Holding him. Being in his arms. It just feels so right and I feel so safe.

We were sealed on one day and then we had our ring ceremony after that. I am very glad that we chose to do it that way. We went to the Temple in the afternoon and then we went to a restaurant for dinner then we were on our way. It wasn't super late. We weren't so tired. It worked out better for us.

The next day we were able to get to our ring ceremony and I didn't have to worry about the wedding night and I was able to enjoy the reception.

The wedding night...

I had some anxiety (as some of you might be able to imagine) and he was so gentle and so aware of me that I soon relaxed in his arms and was able to enjoy myself. We joked at how quickly we became comfortable with each other.

When I think about my first marriage - I remember so much nervousness and stress. When I think about my marriage now I just think how incredible it is to have a partner. (granted I am a little older and wiser...but still).

I am losing my desires to 'fend for myself'' and relaxing as I realize that my husband will always be with me. It is a wonderful, glorious and peaceful feeling. I don't even know how to explain it.

On our honeymoon we were having fun shopping in thrift stores and on our way out someone said..."You are the cutest couple I have ever seen. You are giving me faith that love can exist." We both just smiled. After we got in the car we both talked about how no one had ever said that before.

It's a whole new world.

So...am I struggling with intimacy?

Yes...but not as bad as I thought I would. I think mostly it is my brain and my brain things everything feels so good that it can't process it. So I kinda 'stop' before climaxing. I will say that the first few days I had more excitement than I had during most of my marriage. It is kinda weird because I know I can do it...but then I went through these period when my brain just wouldn't let me feel all the joy.

The interesting part of it was how he dealt with it. He would just love me and tell me how much he loved me and wanted me to be happy and whatever I wanted is what would make him happy. I had never been with a man that could get so much joy from me being happy. I will say that I cried several times as he held me in his arms. It just felt so good - it was almost hard for me to process how good it was. It was hard to feel that I deserved it. That the joy I was feeling I deserved to feel. So, we are working on it. Like everything else we are doing - we are doing it together.

So...my advice?
Don't give up on love.
Don't give up on God.
Don't give up on yourself.

God always has a plan for you and the plan will make you happier than your brain will allow you to process. But little by little...that happiness that is in store for you will sneak in and one day fill your soul.

He isn't perfect and neither and I - but we are perfect for each other. We want to be everything for each other and little by little that is what we are becoming.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Hmmm...do I remember how to be happy?

Well...I am engaged.  Yes...what I never thought would happen..has happened...and it is better than I ever thought it would be.

Don't get me wrong...there will be issues! But the difference that I can see is that we want to solve them together. We have a couple of months before we marry and we are laughing that even grocery shopping together is fun. Christmas shopping was a blast! He is interested in what the kids want, trying to find something that will make them happy - not just 'be a gift for the amount we said we would spend'.  It is a whole new world...and I think I like it.

We are going to try and cancel my sealing - things have gone so much better since we made that decision. I am still doing well with intimacy. I will confess I am a little nervous about our wedding night...but even that anxiety is getting better. Let's just say you should never underestimate the power of an emotional connection.

He wanted to join a group that dances once a week and I finally decided to go. It was a good decision. It has allowed me to become more accustom to his touch in a 'stress free' environment. Well..if you call dancing stress free...lol! It has helped me to want to anticipate his moves and work together. To want to be close to him and just enjoy doing something together.  If anyone else out there is in a similar situation to me...feel free to think about joining a dance class. Besides, it is fun :) I will say it is the first time that I have been part of a group that is not school or church. It is a very diverse group and kind. It is fun!  Seriously, think about it...

So...how I am I feeling?

For the first time I truly want to 'be pretty' for someone.  I want him to look at me and smile and be just like I dreamed...that he can look at me from the across the room and I can see how much he loves me. We were at a dance last night and one of our friends was teasing us that we are all 'giddy and puppy dog in love'. It felt wonderful.

Granted, our kids get grossed out. We just love being next to each other..doing anything together. One of my daughters has talked about that when she marries, she wants to be very affectionate with her spouse...but apparently that doesn't mean she wants to see us kiss...lol! But, the other night I could see a few of my kids enjoying the two of us. We were joking about politics and other silly things. It seemed so 'normal' and the kids were happy. I was thinking about why and I think part is that there was an adult man and woman that all cared about them...it was nice to see them happy.

Which gets to me...planning a wedding/reception was not something I wanted to do a second time. This time it is different...I just feel that I want to have a good time and have fun. I want my friends to be happy with me. I feel that for so long I have been avoiding activities because I didn't want to go alone...not participating in things because I was single...etc...

When I thought about getting married...I thought...we should just elope!  But a friend of mine said, "You need to let us celebrate love! Let your kids see you in love and your friends supporting you!" So...that is kinda what we are doing. Just thinking more about how we want to have a good time with friends...not so much 'everything has to be perfect'. Just...we want to throw a party. I don't know if that makes any sense...but...that is our plan.

Sidebar - my friends are much more responsible and helpful at this age...lol!

So...I am not too worried about my wedding night..because I know that he loves me and would never do anything to hurt me or pressure me...and I love him.

I am seeing a whole new path ahead of me. I will confess, I was kinda to the point that I figured the blessings of an eternal companion would have to wait until the next life. But the Lord had a different plan...He loves me and he loves 'my man' :).

I can hardly wait to get started on our life together...sharing our dreams as well as our burdens...it will be...and it is...a wonderful life and I have every right to be happy!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Dealing with intimacy issues while dating...or preparing to date...

So...we have spend many hours talking about pretty much anything.

I was joking with him one time...that we could talk about anything...Anything I said?  Anything. How about menopause?  He laughed and said, "We can talk about hemorrhoids if you want."

I can't describe how fun it is to have the conversation go from church to kids to intimacy to kids to work to kids...it just is so much fun...we laugh about how we can talk forever! I can feel myself opening up to him...connecting to him...I think of all the emotions I used to have as a kid...feeling that I could look at people - gaze into their eyes and truly feel their emotions and understand them at a level deeper than most people even realize exists. And that has begun with him...we joke about me finishing his sentences...we will be messaging and occasionally he will say, "Get out of my mind woman!" and we both laugh...it feels so good to be connected with someone..to just to be able to 'feel' and know that I am alive and living...I don't know if that makes any sense...but for me...it is vital.

So...back to intimacy...
Sigh...yeah...I keep talking about it with him...I remember one time I said, "I really am not a pervert...I just need to talk about this." He responded..."Of course, I understand with my intellect what your needs are, you need to feel safe." wow...my mouth about dropped open on that one...

So...why do I need to talk about intimacy so much?

Because if I marry My Man...I want to be present and feel everything there is to feel. I want to be able to truly love him...in every aspect...emotionally, physically, spiritually, intellectually. I want to be able to give my all to my husband and lover.

Therefore...
I need to know how he will touch me...
Is his touch demanding something...or is it giving...
How he will react if I don't want to do something.
(My Man has said, you can tell me no. My ex told me no a lot...I'm used to it)
How he will ask me to do things.
What he will want to do...
I want to feel that we are doing something together...not him doing something to me..if that makes any sense...
How patient will he be...
What if I am not ready for intercourse the minute we get to our hotel after marriage...

I talked to him about how I have had times where I kind of 'space out' when being intimate and I don't want to do that with him...So, one of the first times we were kissing...his face was close to mine...and he was holding me...and kissing me softly and whispering..."Stay with me." Sitting here writing this it brings tears to my eyes...realizing how much he wanted me to be 'present'. He isn't just trying to 'get off' on his own personal thrill, he wants to bring me pleasure and joy...he wants to share intimacy with me. He wants to be intimate with me. He wants me to feel loved and desired and cherished and respected. I don't think I need to tell you that being with My Man is a whole different world and I think I like it.

You know what the best part of this particular time in our relationship is?
He wants to make me happy. I can feel that he is the type of man that feels more like a man when he can care for a woman and make her feel loved. It is almost like he is getting excited about being able to help me feel comfortable enough to relax and enjoy intimacy. (It kind of reminds me of when I took my massage class before I married - in the hopes I would get over some of my touch issues. All my classmates wanted to give me a massage because they wanted to see if they could do it in a way that I was comfortable - it was pretty obvious that I was extremely conservative...lol)  He so WANTS to 'please me' and it makes him feel like more of a man to care and please his woman.

Wow...how lucky can I get? All that and brains too...oh...and his hairy chest (sorry - I know he will read this and I do love a good hairy chest.).

I have been thinking the last few days about if we are going to end up committed for eternity (we have decided that if we marry we will have an engagement long enough to try and get a cancellation of my sealing to my ex - I am understanding we will need at least 3 months) that I need to be willing to let him go if that is what the Lord wants for me. I don't know if that makes sense either...one of those...if you love them set them free...kind of moments. It makes me feel that if I can go to the Lord and say if the Lord has a different plan for me - I will follow it. If I can do that...then if we commit...it will be by choice and with the blessing of the Lord. I am pretty sure that is what we both want.

Wish me luck!

How would it feel to be equally yoked? Is better all I want? Or do I want the best the Lord can give?

So...I'm still dating My Man...well..kind of dating...since we have been doing nothing but chatting for almost 2 months...lol!

We have been talking a lot and we have both discussed that the Lord is in charge and trying to help us. He made a comment once that he feels impressed that he needs to not pressure me and give me time to accept a relationship with him.  This was kind of surprising to hear...after all, I have been dating for over 2 years and I want to marry...what is he talking about?

Then I began to understand...

You see..in case you haven't noticed...I have some intimacy issues...and dating someone that I felt would just follow me around like a puppy dog (Make Out Dude) or a man that has commitment issues that I connected with intellectually but isn't into the church far enough (Movie Dude) is one thing. To have a relationship with a man that I feel is equal to me in so many ways, that wants to commit to me and values the Temple and what it stands for...is a whole new ball game.

I have had several conversations with my girls about 'intellectually compatible' and man...can I see the blessings of it with My Man. Chatting has become so fun...the word plays - innuendos - sarcasm (with kindness) and just basic jokes...the wit and speed of the conversations..I feel the intellectual stimulation and it just lights up my brain. It is like a whole new world of awareness and challenge...ok...his vocabulary is bigger than mine..for example..today...portends...really?  Does anyone use that word in regular conversation?  Granted when I goggled it there were many references to crossword/scrabble usage..But I must say...kinda like the mental challenge...

Then, the gospel...he has a totally cool conversion story...found the church on his own as a teenager and has been faithful his entire life...it means something to him...his relationship with his Father in Heaven exists and is extremely important to him. I have heard he is a fabulous Gospel Doctrine teacher...hmm...that could be fun. I remember how when I would give talks with my ex...I would usually talk most of the time and give minimal to him...he would always be nervous and talk in a monotone...I was usually very energetic and engaging...I would get lots of compliments and he would feel inferior...how nice would it be to feel that we are both are strong in the gospel and comfortable sharing our testimonies...wow...I like how I imagine that would feel.

He loves his kids...he has 3 kids...most older than mine but not by much...I remember him asking me if I would be a mother to his kids. Since she walked out on all of them...wow...that kind of made me sit and think...I do love my kids...I did always wish I had married sooner and had more kids...I have learned so much with my kids, I am finally to the point of...I just want them to know that I love them and that the Lord is there for them...always. If I can do that I will die happy.  I could do that with his kids...so sure...why not...and MY kids...they long for more family (my ex's family is good - but they don't click with their cousins) my family doesn't talk to me any more..at least my brothers with kids their ages. So yeah...my kids are pumped that he has kids...and 2 grandkids...under the age of 2. My kids are REALLY excited about that.  His kids? They always wanted more...one of his kids made the comment..."She has 5 kids?  That'd be cool!"

In fact...since we haven't been able to date...our kids have come around to being very supportive of our relationship - I think they feel sorry for us that we can't date and want to see us happy. So that is a definite plus of not dating :)

So...now we come to my issues...sigh...
I would like to think that I don't have any issues...but yeah...that obviously isn't the case...
I asked him how much he wanted to know about me...he said, as much as a person can know about someone else...so I told him about this blog.  He said that he would take time and read it...and he did.

Guess what he said? Movie Dude mentioned that I had a lot of issues and it was holding him back. So yeah...I was a little nervous that I told him about this blog...

His response?
Wow..you are so amazing!  You should write a book! It is so wonderful that you have been able to find these men that could help you grow and process to prepare you to find a man and marry.

Ok..seriously?  You aren't freaked out at all? You don't see all my crap as baggage too heavy to deal with?  wow...maybe he is the one?

He told me how his ex wife had been abused and he understood what I would need to feel safe and secure...what I would need to feel loved. I joked that I don't think the Lord could have prepared a better man for me...his response?  He got a little emotional and said that all the things that he had put in his 'damaged column' I am telling him make him a better partner for me...he can't believe it.

We both have realized that our previous marriages did not have any kind of emotional connection. There were different reasons why that was lacking...but the outcome is the same. We both struggled for many years in a marriage that was not equally yoked and we are now realizing how much more can exist in a marriage and in a relationship and what it means to have a partner at your side.

I find myself talking about intimacy a lot...ok...more than A LOT..because it is almost all I can see...I almost feel like...as long as he can love me..who cares...I will be fine...look what I put up with for so many years. I was talking to another single friend...she was saying...just because it is better than your marriage..doesn't mean it is right. Her marriage was probably worse than mine...she often jokes that I am better at being 'divorced' because my divorce became final in 6 months and she has been trying to finalize her divorce for over 7 years. She then said...dog crap is better then our marriages...just because it is better...doesn't mean it is what the Lord has in store...you deserve so much better than what you had. Wow...it really made me stop and think...she is right...I do need to take the time to make sure it is right and what the Lord wants.

So many people are telling me to 'go slow' 'make sure you really get to know him' 'get in an argument' etc....and since we haven't had a lot of time to be in the same physical space...they are right...we need to make sure that we love on a daily basis as well as be lovers.

Eternity is a long time...we can take some time to know that we are sure...

Ok...I guess there are some good guys still out there...

So...
A friend of mine...said something to a group of friends about me 'being available'...and one of my other friends emailed me. (Did you follow that?) So I end up receiving this email telling me about her experience finding her second husband. She talked about praying to know which site to be on, spending time every day 'looking' for her man. She told me that there are men out there ready to find a woman that love God and wants a man that will be faithful and true. She encouraged me to keep trying and to not give up.

Sigh...

So...I checked out a different website and met a few new people. I started talking with someone that actually lives close to me (wow...that's kinda refreshing) and we found out we have MANY things in common. It has actually become a joke at this point...our sons had similar eagle scout projects. Our sons (different sons) are both studying the same occupation - exact same. We had a few friends in common...he has many similarities to my brother that I love dearly. I could go on and on...but suffice it to say...we have things in our lives that are similar.

As we started getting to know each other...it was all so different. First off, he had married when he was younger than 25...no serious commitment issues. So, the thought of getting serious with someone and committing to that person had no fear for him...that was different. It is like there was no hesitancy...just someone looking for someone else and wanting to love and be happy...how refreshing.

We emailed quite a bit and then finally we met. It went really well...we talked for over 3 1/2 hours. Then the ice cream place closed and we had to go. I thought it a little weird that he told me he had a great time getting to know me and would call me soon and then he just left. No hand shake, no hug, nothing. I just kinda shrugged and figured I would wait and see what would happen.

We were both texting before we got home..

A few days later I was going to take some of my kids on an outing with a friend and her family. At the last minute she couldn't go - they didn't have enough adults for a youth conference and she told me it was fine to go. I didn't feel comfortable going with just her husband (even though we would have 6+ kids from ages 5-21 with us) so I asked my new man if he wanted to go...he asked to bring his son and I thought..sure..why not? We agreed that it would be easy to just go as friends since we were barely beginning to date...to be sensitive to our kids..no touching or anything...just hanging out...as friends.

Well...my kids all said..."Wow mom, he's cool!" "He's just like a regular guy...so normal."

Yeah...I guess that says something about their dad.

My man was laughing as I told him...not quite understanding the significance of my kids thinking he was normal.  How sad is that?

Anyway...after that I did some 'mutual friend checking' and a couple people mentioned that they weren't sure if his divorce was final. Because if he is not legally divorced...we can't date. So I asked him.  Guess what?  It was not final...sigh...everything is signed and sitting at the courthouse waiting for time to pass...she left him over a year ago...so it seems pointless...but...rules are rules...whatever...

So...we realized we were grateful we hadn't really touched or anything and sat back pondering how it would be to date...realizing that we can't date right now... but we could still talk a little bit. His ex wife had left him over a year ago...so it wasn't like he had just walked out on her and the ink was drying on the divorce agreement...

I joked with him that since he has a job, active in church with a recommend, is intelligent and decently tall...he could probably marry any single LDS woman in the state...lol!

Bottom line?
Apparently not every man that is single and middle aged is messed up..or at least can still function and is not afraid to make a commitment to someone. I guess only time will tell if he is the one for me.
Believe me...I'll let you know!